Advisory board teachers use permanent collection photographs to discuss how students might practice visual literacy during a museum visit.
Carnegie Museum of Art has a lot of different audiences, and one of the biggest is groups of K-12 school students. So far in 2014, we’ve seen almost 11,000 of them for guided gallery visits. It’s important that we offer programs that complement what teachers and students are doing in schools. This happens somewhere between the art content (from contemporary to classical antiquity, architecture to photography) and the 21st-century skills that students practice during these visits (like observation, interpretation, making inferences, and backing up their reasoning with evidence).
As museum educators, we strive to provide something valuable and motivating to prompt teachers to sign up for a guided gallery tour or workshop. This is why we have an application-based teacher advisory board. We carefully select teachers who come from a variety of disciplines, school districts, and grade levels. This interdisciplinary approach has been important to our school programs for years.
Carnegie Museum of Art’s annual Evening for Educators on November 12 is a chance for the museum to engage and celebrate with classroom teachers and educators from around Pittsburgh. This is one of my favorite times of year, it’s such a great opportunity to mingle and talk shop!
Each year I work with my team to plan a range of opportunities for educators to engage with the permanent collection and special exhibitions, as well as network, experiment with art materials, and relax.
Exploring the 2013 Carnegie International during one of our professional development workshops for teachers
This year the focus is on the 2013 Carnegie International. This exhibition is exciting and unique to Pittsburgh, and it’s fun to remind everyone that even New Yorkers “[envy] the people of the Steel City, who get to have it at their doorstep for the next five months.” International co-curator Daniel Baumann will kick off the event, and we are providing dinner and drinks—sometimes the best ideas for projects and collaboration happen over food and wine.
We’ll also be offering interactive tours of the International exhibition, an opportunity for everyone to encounter contemporary art by 35 artists from 19 countries. This exhibition is full of powerful, challenging, and beautiful ideas that we’re sure will resonate with teachers; it’s art that can change the way we think about our world.
At 6:30 p.m., everyone will head to the Music Hall to hear Braddock-based artist collaborative Transformazium discuss their views on creative engagement and the Art Lending Collection developed for the International. These three women have brought the museum and art out into their community—and their community into the museum. We hope that this can inspire the same kinds of exchanges between schools and our museum.
We hope see many of you there! Register by calling 412.622.3288 or online.